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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

Here you will find preserved 7 years of conversation, photos, & knowledge about a site many people love. Vindolanda gets under the skin. (Figuratively and literally as a volunteer excavator!) It's a place you remember, filled with people you remember!

Thanks for 7 great years!

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Week 17
The ditch sounds wicked cool (as they say here in New England). Calling all WeDig'ers: let's see the ditch! Pics please.

Week 17
Placeholder for the current week. Justin's tweets suggest more big work in the northern part of the site (probably Zone 5n on the weekly map), digging down into the early 2nd Century.

If anyone's on site and can drop a line, as always please do!

Area of Excavations 2011
(July 18 - July 22)

This week started with a deluge and much bailing of trenches, but ended with a new vicus trench and excellent early archaeology in some of the deeper trenches within the fort.

Posted Image
(larger image available here)

The rains early in the week put a damper on some digging during Week 16. But it seems that the week ended with a bang. Katesf reports digging in the drains on the north side of the main east-west road inside the fort (I think this is the Zone 5s -- correct me if I'm wrong!). Cyan's team worked in Zone 5n, the old centurion's apartment of the 3rd C barrack. They revealed flagstones coming up under the Severan roundhouse that itself lay under the apartment. And just to the east of the roundhouse, they found burning, a ditch, and the beautiful cobbling of a north-south roadway. The level appears Antonine. But that would be strange, because in the Antonine era that was supposed to be another barrack. What's a road doing there, then?? (It wasn't clear, but it appeared that maybe digging had been called off in Zone 2 along the north-south road, so I removed that from the active sites. Can someone confirm?)

The season has progressed so quickly, that a new trench has been opened, #7, out in the vicus to the west of the fort (and sadly far off the carefully cultivated map!). Over the years, most of the 3rd Century vicus west of the fort has been excavated, but this season at least one of the missing sections is getting checked out. So far the turf has been pulled back, revealing some of the roadside aqueduct that brought fresh water to the town from the wells & springs at the far NW of the site. In addition, the large foundation stones of one of the vicus's typical strip houses also seemed to be coming up.

Week 15 & 16
Just such great shots of some really cool archaeology. Thx for taking the time to post & link!

Week 14
Great pictures! It's amazing to see Temple Avenue change so much from week to week. Thanks much for posting.

Week 15 (and 14 recap!)
Vicus trench? No, no. No vicus trench here.

Week 16
Justin's Tweet this morning suggests a pretty slow & soggy start to the week. Still, a placholder page for Week 16. If you're digging this week and have a moment, please drop a line to keep us up to date. Been an awesome year so far.

As always, feel free to contact me directly at text_style@hotmail.com if you would like to post thoughts or pictures but are having trouble.

Week 15 (and 14 recap!)
I love the picture going up the 3rd-4th C north-south roadway, with the late 2nd C Antonine barrack under it, and then the early-mid 2nd C staining under that. Good luck to the folks who need to figure it all out in the end!

Area of Excavations 2011
(July 11 - July 15)

After a brief intermission, the weekly updates are back. Week 15 (and Week 14) have focused on 3 main areas: the southern part of Temple Avenue, extending into the barracks, labeled Zone 4/5s(outh); the centurion's apartment in the barrack just west of Temple Avenue, labeled Zone 5n(orth); and an examination of the deep levels under the late fort's main north-south roadway, Zone 2.

Posted Image
(larger version available here)

Many thanks to el kevano for great pics and a fab update of the past two weeks of digging. Work is progressing in three areas, down into the mid-2nd century layers, and probably even into the early 2nd Century. The southern portion of Temple Avenue (Zone 4/5s) has been taken well back into the 2nd century, with the smell of anaerobic layers, many stains of wooden beams, and a ton of still very confusing archaeology coming up. The area of the 3rd C centurion's apartment (Zone 5n) is also being taken down to the mid/early 2nd Century layers. It is also a jumble of periods & features. But it seems just possible that the northern intervallum roadway of the Period VI early-Antonine fort may be showing up. This fort would have been laid out in about the same dimensions as the visible 3rd/4th C fort, but was originally built of wood, probably in the AD 140s. Finding the northern road that butted up against the northern wall would help give really good evidence for the layout of that mysterious period.

Zone 2 has been chock-a-bloc as well. Just under the turf, this area was the 3rd/4th Century north-south road. Beneath that lay an Antonine (late 2nd C) period barrack. That barrack had its centurion's quarters at the southern end rather than the north as was done with the later 3rd C barrack. In the past two weeks, many layers of flooring from that centurion's quarters have come up, and the diggers have started getting below the late 2nd C on down into the mid-early 2nd C.

Justin's tweets describe posts and the stains in the ground of what would have been wooden sleeper beams for pre-Hadrianic forts, mostly likely periods III or IV. El kevano's pictures & update show all sorts of tantalizing pits, stains, walls, patches of rubble, Severan stonework, etc.

So at the end of Week 15 there are now no less than 7 (maybe more) different occupation periods exposed at various points of the current excavation. They date from the late 4th Century (Period IX) all the way back to the early 2nd (probably Period III). More power to anyone tasked with making sense of the jumble for the final report!

New Website
Looks like Vindolanda.com's Store function is now online too: http://www.vindolanda.com/books. Not the full collection of what the museum store has in stock, but a lot of good stuff.

- H

Coin Hoard!?!?
I knew I was forgetting something!!


Vici on the Northern Frontier
Binchester is awesome (and thanks Terry for that post on it!), good vicus stuff there. Also, I believe Birdoswald has had vicus work in the past decade. And Maryport on the west coast is being dug right now, this summer too. I think they're looking at vicus & some of the fort.

There's a great book written in '09 that summed up all the work done along the Wall frontier from the past decade, called "Hadrian's Wall 1999-2009." It was printed ahead of the big Wall pilgrimage, and is really jam-packed with good stuff but is very readable. Compiled by Dr. Nick Hodgson. Printed by Titus Wilson & Son, Kendal, 2009. ISBN: 978-1-873124-48-2.

Week 14
Any news or pictures from WeDig'ers? Justin's tweets are tantalizing. If I remember, the carpeted bracken flooring that keeps coming up suggests living space. So probably barracks in the northeast corner of one of the early forts? Would love it if anybody who's been on site this week can chime in.

Spotlight On...
Thanks all. The idea for a little date in each frame is a great one. When I update at the end of this year I'll add those in.

Spotlight On...
A lot of stuff has been gathered here at WeDig over the years. Sometimes it's easy to miss. So occasionally I'd like to spotlight a page or thread that may be of interest.

So, the first installment:

Vindolanda's so big, it might seem hard to believe that most of what's on view was dug by students, volunteers, & enthusiasts just like you. Whether you're a newbie or a Vindo-veteran, it might be nice to see how the site unfolded over many, many seasons of hard work.

With that in mind, WeDig has a page devoted to revealing the 200-year history of digging at Vindolanda. Scroll your mouse over the dates on the right and watch the plan unfold on the left. For more information, press the mouse button on top of any of the dates and read the pop-up notes.

Even if you only had a week on-site, you're now part of a long & fascinating story -- one that will probably be stretching on for generations to come!

Area of Excavations 2011
(June 27 - July 1)

Same locations as Week 12, digging down well into the early-mid 2nd Century anaerobic layers.
Posted Image
(larger version available here)

Rosie reports diggers working in the same locations as Week 12, digging down well into the preserved anaerobic layers of the early 2nd Century. Reports of laminate bracken floor "carpeting" coming up, which is where so much of Vindolanda's wooden, leather, and cloth items have come from in the past.

WeDigers Ian & Averil posted brilliant photos of a reused altar and a carved lion's head. The altar, with no inscription but with odd geometric and snake-like carvings, was used as the base of a buttress supporting a room at the northern end of Site #5. (The location of the old Centurion's quarters from the 3rd Century; not sure what exactly this late buttressed building was.) The lion's head was made of the same soft sandstone used by the Stone Fort I (Antonine) builders for much of their carved work, and was found reused in a 3rd/4th Century wall.

Rosie also reports areas of burning showing up, as well as hunks of lead. Both suggest workrooms amid the early 2nd Century levels. Whatever was going on, this area would have represented the northeast quadrant of the various early 2nd Century forts. Up to now, almost nothing was known of this area of the early forts, so every spade that goes into the ground is revealing new information. Good stuff.

Week 13
Amazing stuff! The nice thick geometric lines at the top do look a lot more "professional."

When was the buttress put up? Late Roman or post-Roman?

A Published Author
This is why WeDig needs a Facebook-style "Like" button, coz this is awesome news! Congrats Kate! Can't wait to get a copy & pore through it.

Week 13
Justin's latest Tweet really interesting. Another altar, and used in a buttress? What would have been buttressed in a barrack?? Were the Centurion's quarters two-story?